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'Andor,' Episode 3: What Led Cassian Andor to Work for the Rebel Alliance—And Why is He So Suited For It?


Live action Star Wars is back in the form of Andor, a prequel to Star Wars spin-off filmRogue One that follows common criminal-turned-Rebel Alliance hero Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) during the years leading up to the events of the film. We’re here to tackle any questions, debates and your utmost curiosity about the future soldier for the Rebel Alliance. While Andor is set five years before the Battle of Yavin in Star Wars: A New Hope, there are plenty of easter eggs and little tidbits that help us understand the grizzled Rebellion veteran in Cassian Andor.

Each week, we’ll be answering your questions here. The third topic? How has Cassian Andor attacked the Empire in the past, and how do these rebels (led by Luthen Rael) plan on using Cassian now? As with the other two episodes so far, we are treated to time jumps to see Cassian as a child on his home planet of Kenari – this time aboard the crashed Republic transport. We get to see child Cassian throw a temper tantrum for the ages—smashing the control room of the transport to bits—then getting abducted by Maarva (Fiona Shaw) before the Republic lands on Kenari. This sets the tone for the remainder of episode three.

Why are Imperials (at all levels) Already So Arrogant?

Cassian’s introductory sequence with Luther Rael (Stellan Skarsgard) is a moment that fans of the Rebel Alliance have been waiting for. Though it isn’t explicitly stated, we know that Rael is a member of the early-stage Rebellion. Now, while the NP-5 Starpath holds intrinsic value to Rael, the real asset is Cassian himself.

“They can’t imagine it. That someone like me could ever get inside their house,” says Cassian in a moment of extreme foreshadowing. He’s referring to how he stole the Starpath from under Imperial noses. But if you’ve watched Rogue One, you can clearly see how the quote from Cassian portends the stealing of the Death Star plans in the film by the Rebel Alliance.

Imperial arrogance remains a common theme in Star Wars, but it’s what makes this sequence so believable. The Imperials’ hubris and sense of superiority with their belief that they’re unstoppable leads to not one, but two Death Stars being blown to bits by the Rebel Alliance.

Where did Cassian Receive His Military Training?

During the shootout in the warehouse, we’re treated to a “Wild West” style sequence, complete with explosive detonations by Rael and some wily tactics by Cassian. Our question (which will hopefully be answered in future episodes)? Where did Cassian pick up those impressive skills with a blaster? It’s safe to assume he learned survival skills during his youth on Kenari, but he’s already a well-rounded spy/soldier in this episode. So, when did that happen? We await that answer to come in future episodes.

Timm Loved Bix, But Does that Excuse Timm’s Actions?

Timm (James McArdle) dies a tragic death in Episode 3 when he heroically (or was that idiotically?) charges at the Pre-Mor soldiers. Unfortunately, one of those soldiers was a little too trigger happy. It’s still tough to feel bad for Bix’s (Adria Arjona) boyfriend, as Timm is the one who ratted out Cassian to Pre-Mor in the first place.

Does it somewhat redeem Timm because he thought he was doing it out of love? We wouldn’t go that far, but it will certainly be interesting to see how it changes the trajectory of Bix’s character. Perhaps she’ll end up joining the Rebel cause too?

There’s No Turning Back Now

The episode concludes with a fun juxtaposition of past and present scenes. We see young Cassian being piloted off Kenari by Maarva juxtaposed with older Cassian being offworld by Luther Rael in his awesome starship. Here’s to new beginnings for the budding Rebel Alliance operative.

Cassian Andor Breaks the Mold of Other Star Wars Protagonists

For the first time in a long history of Star Wars protagonists (see: Luke Skywalker, Rey), we have a lead character who isn’t a single-minded archetype. These first three episodes treated us to many layers of Cassian’s character. He’s a thief, a spy, a conman, a hero, and occasionally a desperate man. He’s not Han Solo, Poe Dameron, or Lando Calrissian.

Instead, Cassian is the most well-developed character we’ve gotten from a male lead. With so much potential to continue to grow and evolve—it’s hard to guess what he’ll do next.


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